Studying German strategic culture

Anja Dalgaard-Nielsen

in Germany, Pacifism and Peace Enforcement

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780719072680
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701386 | DOI:
Studying German strategic culture

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This chapter opens with a discussion of the concept of ‘strategic culture’ and outlines the central tenets of culture theory. It explains how this theory provides a tool for analysing the domestic factors that influence security policy and introduces examples of culturalist analyses of post-unification German security policy. It argues that these accounts display a static bias due to their structural concept of culture, and explains how this book instead conceptualises culture as a dynamic and plural entity. Culture, it argues, limits the choices of German politicians, but simultaneously represents a resource for agents of change. The chapter also operationalises the concept of security culture and discusses how and where to study it, and argues that the sequence of Bundestag debates over the out-of-area question between 1990 and 2001 offers a window into the competing logics of German security culture.

Keywords: strategic culture; culture theory; German security policy; Bundestag debates

Chapter.  6858 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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